Do not get comfortable
So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. -Hebrews 4:9
Jesus is our Sabbath rest. Those who are in Him, and Him them, can rest assured that they will be resurrected to eternal life with Him and God our Father in the new Heaven and Earth. Jesus invited all to come to Him, saying, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). That is our hope: eternal rest.
There are so many in this life that do have that idea in their mind – that they are in Jesus and Jesus in sin them. They have the idea and are good with that. They hear the messages in church. They believe what they hear and feel it in their “soul” that they have one-ness with Jesus and God. But if they are hearing lies and fake teaching, does their belief count?
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in my word, then you are truly my disciples of mine, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” -John 8:31-32
Truth is not subjective. There is one truth. Like 1+1=2 or the Earth rotates around the sun. Yet people still try to refute these things, it is really funny… But things like our word – especially God’s word can be interpreted in many ways. People read what they want or hear what they want.
When someone says, “I am blue,” it can mean, “I am feeling down,” or “I am literally the color blue.” But when Jesus said, “I am they way, the truth, and the life,” (John 14:6) – how can this be misinterpreted? Yet people disregard this. Oprah, for one, said there has to be another way. This shows she might believe in God, but not the God of the Bible. She does not know God’s word at all. When people do this, they fictionalize God or make up their own reality where God is what they want Him to be and that His acceptance is based on our own want. But this is just not true.
And many of our own pastors tell us what they have read into the words of the Scriptures and brainwash people into believing lies and misinterpretations. This is a very dangerous thing if the congregants are not studying for themselves.
But false prophets also rose among the people just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction to themselves. -2 Peter 2:1
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world 1 John 4:1
Many of the beloved pastors we have listened to over the years have been exposed as false, fake, or hypocritical. I hate to speak ill of the dead (but “the dead know nothing,” so who cares?) or at least those who can not defend themselves, but enough has been said, that I am just another foot kicking the dead horse.
I am talking about Ravi Zacharias. I listened to him for years. Now, I could not quite understand much of what he said because of the big words and abstract, philosophical ideas he would present. But what I always got from him was: YHWH our God is real and He is to be worshiped, and Jesus Christ is the one way to Him.
And not long after he died did the accusations come out. The immorality in which he chose to live was phenomenal. I was pretty shocked but tried not to pay much attention to it. People just like to talk mess and cause drama. I tried to defend him, at least to myself, saying he was a flawed human like the rest of us. But as more and more facts came out, it was all hard to avoid. He preached such a great message but lived in such a different way. I pray that, even if the world does not know it, he repented of his actions and got right with YHWH before he died, if there was still time.
We all know about Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland. They misrepresented God from the get-go. Benny has since repented and changed his way. I do not know about Mr. Copeland. And do not get me started on Joel Osteen…
“On that day, many will say, ‘Lord, lord, did we not prophesy in you name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many might works in your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me you workers of lawlessness.’” -Matthew 7:22-23
Some are perfectly well meaning in what they believe and teach. It is what they learned. It is what tradition has engrained in their heads. And they believe it to be…the gospel.
Many things that the Bible does not teach is taught to unknowing congregations on Sundays – Sunday worship for one…
My beliefs have changed over time, because I am always trying to learn and understand the Scriptures better. And much of what I believe now would be laughed at by mainstream believers. Jesus and God are not one. There is no trinity. Jesus was a human prophet appointed by God for His purpose. We do not go to heaven when we die. Christmas and Easter are pagan holidays (yes, I said it!). I believe these things and have, what I believe to have good evidence in the Bible, to back these things up.
How do you know what you believe? I have posed this question before and was met with a vicious outburst by the guy to whom I asked it (I have written about previously). Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4, “you worship what you do not know,” meaning her understanding of God was all wrong. And he said to her, “We worship what we know” (Jesus worshiped the Father [that is a free one]).
“Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master has put in charge of his household to give them food at the proper time? Blessed is the slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes” -Matthew 24:45-46
“The master of the slave will come on a day when he does not expect him, at an hour which he does not know. and will cut him to pieces, and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Do not let your guard down. You may be hard and fast in your beliefs, but you must know why. And you must not get sluggish or lax in learning. Jesus told His disciples when He went off to pray in Gethsemane, “So you men could not keep watch with me one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26: 40-41).
We get lazy, we do stupid things, or we get lax in our walk. I have been there recently, to some very bad outcomes. Stay awake!
When I saw, I reflected upon it, I looked and received instruction; A little sleep, a little slumber A little folding of the hands to rest, then your poverty will comas a robber, and your want as an armed man. -Proverbs 24:32-33
This is a lifelong choice. A lifestyle. We can not turn it on and off. We can not pick and choose when or what to believe arbitrarily. WE must be in the Scriptures constantly, learning and growing and bearing fruit. I know there are bad days, bad weeks, or even bad months. WE all go through the weeds. Life gets busy or screwed up, and we can not put the time in we would like. But an hour on Sunday is not enough – just to sit and listen to some little trinket of encouragement or some “bumper sticker” theology spewed out by many pastors today to appease the masses.
Get in the word every chance you get. Tap into the Holy Spirit within you, if indeed it is there. Focus your mind, body, all your strength, and will to get this for yourself; that you will do better and be better for YHWH our Father and for Christ Jesus, for yourselves and for those around you. Just like the two great commandments.
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your strength, with all your soul, and with all your mind… Love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments rely all the law and the prophets.” -Matthew 22:37-40
***YHWH, our Father, I thank you for the desire you give us to know your word and to seek your truth. Help us, give us this desire always, to keep going in your word when things are hard or busy; when we do not seem to have the motivation or strength we need. All of our strength and will comes from you. Without you, YHWH, and the new life you have given us in Christ Jesus, we would be surely headed for eternal destruction.
Let us not fall into temptation, neglecting or forsaking our word, but keep us on your path.
As your Son Christ Jesus said, His words are life and truth, because they lead to you. We are free if we are in His words, diligently seeking you always.
Give us good discernment and wisdom to keep from the fake prophets and false teachers. Help us to stay awake and to keep our eyes and ears open.
Your word created this world and it will bring on the new one when the time comes. Let us all be good and faithful to it now so that we may all partake in your kingdom when it comes. I thank you, YHWH, our God. In the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, through whom we have been brought to you I pray, amen. ***